Lately I noted that many of today's politicians seem prepared to commit hari-kiri with the sword of political-party correctitude, denying their constituents the benefit of good government in the process.
A perfect example of the phenomenon is available locally in my Washington, DC area, and masterfully summarized by columnist Steven Pearlstein. Here, a group of "conservative" county board members has seemingly derailed a region-wide agreement on extending the area's subway system because the project was designed to use union labor. And of course "union" is not in the conservative vocabulary these days. The effect, if they succeed, will be not just to deny people in their county the more convenient use of mass transportation, but also to deny them the economic growth that has been proven to accrue to neighborhoods served effectively by the subway.
It's not clear, in Virginia's very centralized "commonwealth" form of decision-making, that county officials have power to intervene in this way. But our Republican governor, who agreed to the overall deal, and harbors hopes of becoming a vice-presidential candidate, is now backing away from it. Legal challenges take time; may we hope that voters will throw these rascals out before they arrogate to themselves the right to vitiate their own economic growth?